ViC was excited to join the first Not-Equal summer school, which took place in Swansea from the 27-30th August 2019 and explored the intersections between Algorithmic Social Justice and Digital Security through a programme of talks, workshops and panel sessions. ViC hosted a session on ‘Values-First and Responsible Computing‘, abstract below:
The software industry, computing research, and wider society have yet to fully grasp the potentially devastating consequences of unleashing, at scale, software that has been built without putting societal concerns and people’s lives first. This is even more critical with the emergence of new trends, especially with AI, where software is already making autonomous decisions, e.g. in the financial sector. Following an increasing number of high-profile software scandals and malpractices (e.g. the VW deceit software, FB/Cambridge Analytica illicit personal data harvesting, and Boeing 373 Max anti-stall software disasters), calls have been made for radical changes in business models and tough policies to strongly regulate against pervasive software industry malpractices. Although much needed, laws and regulations can be broken or circumvented. What cannot be so easily broken is a values-informed, diverse, and well-connected community of computing practice; one that understands what human values are, what social responsibility means, and the way that values and responsibility are written into code. This talk will share research approaches, tools, findings, and future directions from on-going work at Lancaster University.